NORML Responds to Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions Caricature

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is back in the news with comments on marijuana today. On the plus side, as Tom Angell states over at Mass Roots and Russ Belville here at Weed News, the AG agreed that former President Barack Obama’s Cole Memo is “valid” to determine appropriate federal enforcement of cannabis laws. On the horrible side, Sessions believes that weed is only “slightly less awful” than heroin, as Radical Russ Belville covered. (UPDATE: As Russ Belville notes, the “slightly less awful” language was in Sessions prepared remarks, but he didn’t actually state them.)

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) decided to correct Jeff Sessions on whether America will be better off by ending the failed and harmful policy of cannabis prohibition in a press release:


Washington, DC: In prepared remarks today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said:

I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store.  And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana – so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful.  Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.

Mr. Sessions is wrong.

“With over 600,000 arrests a year, the only thing life-wrecking about marijuana is its prohibition.” responded Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director.

Read more about how permitting legal access to cannabis is consistently associated with reduced rates of opioid use, abuse, and mortality published in The Hill by NORML’s Paul Armentano.


NORML’s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable.

Hopefully, Jeff Sessions will receive some education on cannabis and cannabis policy before making any changes to federal policy. Although, with the Russian scandal implicating the AG and much of the Donald Trump Administration, it will be rather amazing if they find much time to mess with marijuana, but will continue to watch, report and remain vigilant.

Caricature credit: Donkeyhotey

Anthony Johnson
About Anthony Johnson 137 Articles
Anthony Johnson, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, is the director of New Approach Oregon, working to effectively implement the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature, before regulatory bodies,and at city councils and county commissions across the state.He was proud to work as Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort and director of the Vote Yes on 91 PAC, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. He also advises cannabis entrepreneurs on how to comply with Oregon's laws and helps organize the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference. Anthony's blogs on are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization. You can see his work here at Weed News as well as